(from Education Scotland website here):

I struggled to make out the words from this recording, so found some here for you. I think it works better to make up your own anyway, but here are the traditional words.

Ally bally, ally bally bee
Sittin on yer *mammy’s knee
Greetin for a wee bawbee^
Tae buy some Coulter’s Candy.

*change the words so they suit your family

^A ‘wee bawbee’ is a coin and ‘Coulter’s candy’ refers to the ‘aniseed toffee’ sweets Robert Coulthard used to make in the 1870s.  More about the song here.

Traditional extra verses:
Willie wept baith lang and sair
Till he got a penny tae share
Noo he’s tumblin doon the stair
Tae buy some Coulter’s Candy
Poor wee Annie was greetin tae
What could poor auld Mammy dae?
But gie them a penny atween them twae
Tae buy mair Coulter’s Candy.
Oor wee Jeannie wis lookin affa thin
A rickle o banes covered ower wi skin
Noo she’s gettin a wee double chin
Sookin Coulter’s Candy.
Here comes Coulter doon the street
The man the bairns aa like tae meet
His big black bag it hauds a treat
It’s full o Coulter’s Candy.


This is a traditional Scottish song which works very well as a lullaby, as it lends itself to gentle rocking or cuddling. This version is sung by Sandra Kerr and was taught at the Musical Eyes Network’s CPD day Musical Babies.

Photo by Flickr user jhhmas, used under Commons license.

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